10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RAISING A DIFFERENTLY WIRED CHILD
2: YOUR CHILD IS NOT THEIR DIAGNOSIS Transcript
Today I want to talk with you about diagnoses. If you’re participating in this series, it’s likely that you already have some sort of a diagnosis for your child or you are seeking more concrete information in the form of a diagnosis to give you more insight into your child. And diagnoses can be tricky because they can feel big and ominous and complicated. And we can look at a diagnosis as if it’s the answer to our questions or the solutions to things that feel hard. So I think it’s really important to get clear on what a diagnosis actually is. And I’ll start by talking about what a diagnosis is not.
A diagnosis is not a blueprint for our kids. It is not a solution. It is not the be-all-end-all of what matters about who our child is. And a diagnosis doesn’t define who your child is today, who they’ll be tomorrow, and what their potential is for the future.
What a diagnosis is is information. That’s right. Information. A diagnosis can provide information about how one’s brain functions, and give insights into neurological variations our child may have that can result in challenges, or deficits, or weaknesses in certain areas. Diagnoses can also provide insights into our kids’ gifts and strengths, strengths we may not have even known were there.
I believe that diagnoses can be very helpful because they can provide information about your child’s unique neurobiology, and this information can help you better understand areas where they may have lagging skills, and areas where they struggle, and perhaps even more important, why they struggle in those areas.
It can also provide context for behavior that may be perplexing, because now that we understand that the behavior is a child’s way of communicating and is connected to their brain wiring, we can be better prepared to respond to that child in a way that supports their development. Diagnoses are often a key part of getting your child accommodations or supports in school and beyond that could help them strengthen their skills in those lagging areas. Diagnoses can also be helpful when it comes to getting certain types of therapies covered by health insurance.
So those are some practical things to know about diagnoses, and I think they’re worth knowing. And again, I am a proponent of evaluations that thoughtfully and responsibly assess both a child’s strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately, any diagnosis or diagnoses that our child has, or another way to say that is, any neurological differences that our child has been identified as having, is information. It is not who your child is. The labels associated with your child’s neurodivergence do not define your child. They do not tell your child story, they do not predict your child’s future.
What they do do is offer context, and information, so that you and others who interact with your child, can better understand the way in which they experience the world, and better know how to support them in growing in their areas of both strengths and deficits, and gaining the skills that would support their ability to live self-actualized life.
Want to go deeper?
There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re a sit back and absorb learner, a hands-on, connect and engage learner, and everything in between. Join the Differently Wired Club and get unstuck, ditch the overwhelm, and find confidence, connection, and JOY in parenting your differently wired child.
Tilt Parenting, LLC is an educational resource, podcast, consultancy, and community with a focus on positively shifting the way neurodifferences in children are perceived, experienced, and supported, and supporting parents raising differently wired™ kids so these exceptional kids can thrive in their schools, in their families, and in their lives. It was founded by Debbie Reber in 2016.
© 2016 Deborah Reber